Posted on October 2, 2018

Telford Girl Abused by up to 70 Paedophiles Speaks Out After Fresh Hope of Justice for Town’s Sex Victims

Geraldine McKelvie, Mirror, September 26, 2018

A girl abused by up to 70 paedophiles has been given fresh hope of justice thanks to the Sunday Mirror’s Telford child sex exposé.

The victim, who we are calling Amy, today speaks out for the first time about how she was raped at 12 and made pregnant when she was just 13.

She suffered four years of abuse and faced death threats but just one man was convicted.

Now, thanks to our probe, the teenager has been told she has grounds to take others to court.

Amy – whose ordeal only ended when she fled Telford aged 16 – said: “All I want is justice, because the men who raped me are walking around scot free.

“They stole my childhood. I am terrified they’re doing what they did to me to other innocent young girls in Telford.

“Every time I’m home, I bump into someone who has abused me and it makes me feel sick to my stomach.”

Tory MP Lucy Allan raised Amy’s case in Parliament and with top lawyer Laura Farris, of Littleton Chambers. Ms Farris suggested there was a “decent” chance of persuading the CPS to reverse its decision not to prosecute key suspects.

And the lawyer said her team could force a judicial review if prosecutors refused.

Ms Farris added: “There seems to be a powerful argument that the decision is wrong, because it fails to identify Amy’s case as one of potential exploitation and the CPS fails to follow its own policy on child sexual abuse.

“We can rely on material from the Mirror report revealing the extent of child sexual exploitation in Telford and systematic failures by various authorities towards its victims.”

We told in March how there could be up to 1,000 grooming victims in the town over four decades.

Amy, now 19, also wants to sue local Telford and Wrekin Council, claiming social workers closed her case while she was still being exploited.

Scores of men from Telford’s Pakistani heritage community began grooming Amy after they got hold of her phone number when she accompanied her dad to maintenance jobs.

She said: “My number was given to more men than I could count and they started forcing me into sex. Having an abortion at 13 was one of the worst things imagininable. It haunts me.”

Police investigated 19 men in a probe named Operation Willow.

Case files seen by our team show Amy’s dad gave hours of police interviews detailing how suspects were linked via family connections and the takeaway trade in Telford.

Her parents also gave officers a phone they say proved the scale of abuse and links between perpetrators.

Evidence seen by the Mirror shows the phone was returned unexamined.

Only one man was convicted of abusing Amy – 23-year-old Balraj Singh, jailed for three-and-a-half years for sexual activity with a child.

A DNA test on the aborted foetus identified a man who got Amy pregnant. He was 21 but charges were dropped when he said he believed Amy was 16.

Five deaths have been linked to the wider Telford scandal, including that of arson victims Lucy Lowe, 16, her sister and mum.

A CPS spokesperson said: “The CPS is committed to supporting victims. In respect of this investigation, there was not enough evidence to proceed with other suspects.”

Assistant Chief Con-stable Martin Evans said: “A dedicated team worked for more than three years where almost 500 exhibits and 40 mobile phones were seized and examined.

“The case was recently reviewed, where it was identified that a detailed and thorough investigation was carried out. In such cases we must prove the suspect didn’t reasonably believe the victim was over 16.

“It remains our priority to tackle child sexual abuse… any victims who come forward will be dealt with by our dedicated team with respect and dignity.”

Telford and Wrekin Council will hold a public inquiry. But a spokesman said: “To protect a person’s identity we can’t comment on specific cases.”